Walk into any pet store or natural food or grocery store and take a look at the selection of canned dog and cat foods. Hundreds, if not thousands, of cans sit on the shelves. (Have you ever thought about who the heck turns each and every one of those cans to line up perfectly for you?) “How many cans do people really feed to their dogs and cats?”, you ask yourself.
Canned food, especially for dogs, is often considered the stepchild to dry food. Particularly if you remember canned dog food from years gone by– it looked nasty and smelled worse. But, today’s canned dog and cat foods are remarkable– real pieces of veggies, fruits, meats in scrumptious gravy or even loaf-style formulas packed with tasty and even organic nutrition.
I think it’s time to celebrate the can, for its many uses and the many problems it solves. Here’s my list… do let me know if you’ve got more to share!
Variety: Many pet parents want their dogs and cats to enjoy the same variety at mealtime that they do (without the glass of wine or pint of beer). From strictly a nutritional standpoint, it’s not necessary to change diets. In fact, it can cause digestive upset and can even promote a more finicky dog or cat. However, adding a dollop of canned food can provide that special topping and mealtime variety to make you and your dog and cat happy.
Finicky dogs and cats: Dogs and cats are attracted by smell and, usually, the smellier, the better (as you may have noticed!). Add a bit of canned food to the bowl of kibble, stir and see if that works for your picky eater. If it doesn’t, try slightly warming the mixture and stirring again to release the full aroma. This is particularly effective with canned foods like Natural Ultramix that are awash in yummy gravy.
Organic addition to non-organic dry food: Adding a spoonful or two of certified organic canned food to the bowl of kibble brings the goodness and quality of organic ingredients to your dog or cat. Even a little bit helps!
Post-Surgery or Recuperation from Illness: Your dog or cat isn’t eating well (or at all) after surgery or due to an illness. Canned food is often appealing (because of the aroma) and has the added advantage of providing more calories than its dry equivalent. Try slightly warming the food to further entice your dog or cat.
Additional water intake (especially for cats): It’s important for cats (and dogs) to always have access to fresh water but that doesn’t mean they drink enough of it, right? To help maintain a healthy urinary tract and help prevent the formation of crystals, water intake is very important, particularly for cats (they have a higher propensity for crystal formation relative to dogs). Feeding canned food helps your cat with additional water intake.
Pill popping: Getting your dog or cat to take pills can be an interesting exercise in frustration. Try hiding the pill in a spoonful of canned food and watch it disappear!
How’s that for making good use of all of those wonderful cans?!! Any more ideas and uses? Do let me know!